Marc Benarie joined Bioconservacion in March 2011 as Export Area Manager. He tells us it feels as though it were only yesterday, yet 7 years have gone by. During this time, his effort and constant work have contributed greatly to the expansion of Bioconservacion in different markets and countries. As the time has come for you to embark on a new professional challenge, we would like to hear first-hand about your experience at Bioconservacion:
- Marc, please tell us a little about your role and development at Bioconservacion since joining the company.
When I arrived at Bioconservacion, the Barcelona offices were in a Business Centre in Plaza Catalunya. There were only three of us: two sales people and Niccolo Moreno, our current General Manager.Soon after, we were joined by Carlos Abeijón, our Financial Director, together with another person for the Marketing Department. At this point, we moved to our current offices at Diagonal Avenue in Barcelona.
My initial duties were as Export Area Manager of the Post-Harvest division. The team was growing and in a matter of just a few months, three more people joined the company, including Máximo Carone, our current Business Development Manager, and a Customer Service agent. Sales grew and Máximo opened new markets for the industrial division in Latin America, and, three years later, Management decided to unify the two divisions to streamline business management and expenses. This is how I started to work in the industrial market in parallel with the post-harvest market.
- What was your previous experience in the sector?
I had always worked in the Sales and Export Department in different sectors: industrial steel, optics, jewellery, furniture, but never with gas filtration or air purification products.
- Tell us about Bioconservacion, its team and corporate culture.
Bioconservacion is an SME with a significant track record in the fruit and vegetable industry. It provides solutions to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables in transport between the northern and southern hemispheres. Bioconservacion is a world leader in this area of the sector. The company has also developed new products to offer solutions to for odour removal and corrosion control in other industrial markets. To arrive to this point, the company has always been surrounded by professionals, chemists, agronomists, and engineers, with a deep knowledge of how gases behave in different industries and applications. During this time, the company has strived to combine technical knowledge with good business practice, and has opted for more effective Communication and Marketing to improve brand visibility.
Tell us about one of your best moments at Bioconservacion.
There are many great moments. Some are related to professional success, but some of the best times were had during trips with our Partners or at the Fruit Logistica trade fair.
This anecdote is about something that happened in Berlin: our partner in Chile, Pablo Apablaza (RIP), left the trade fair and took a train with Petra, our Marketing Director at the time. The queue to buy tickets was so long that they ended up not buying any. But, it turns out that they were unlucky enough to be stopped by the ticket inspector. However, they explained what had happened and avoided paying the fine. The news spread quickly and after arriving at the hotel, I decided to pose as a German policeman and called Mr Apablaza's room from the reception speaking English with a German accent. I requested him to present himself in reception with his passport. Poor Mr Apablaza was so frightened that I had to put an end to the prank and reveal myself. This anecdote is a good example of the level of relationship between the company and its employees, as well as with its business partners: deep and close.
- And now one of your worst moments.
Of course, there have been some bad moments, the worst of which occurred during a difficult period in which we were undergoing significant changes in the company’s strategic management and were faced with a period of instability. Luckily, both management and our financial director were up to the challenge.
- Finally, how would you assess these last 7 years?
Very highly indeed. I have learnt a lot and enjoyed every day. What’s more, I have made close friends both in Spain and abroad.
Marc Benarie (on the right) pictured with Máximo Carone, Business Development Manager (on the left ).